David Hyde Pierce on not joining the Frasier reboot: ‘they don’t actually need me’

So just last week we were talking about Kelsey Grammer being cut off by PR handlers when asked about his continued endorsement of Trump. Grammer was on a BBC talk show promoting the Frasier reboot, in which he’s the only returning star (aside from cameos by Bebe Neuwrith and Peri Gilpin). I suggested tuning into former Frasier star David Hyde Pierce on Max’s Julia as an alternative to supporting Trump-supporter Grammer. Well, the lovely Mr. Hyde Pierce has very helpfully provided a soundbite this week on why he’s not in the reboot, and his response is just as classy as you’d expect from Niles Crane. The topic came up in a recent LA Times profile on Pierce, in which he primarily discussed his current theater role in Stephen Sondheim’s final musical: Here We Are. Here are his Frasier comments from the article:

Actors are lucky if they have one TV series that takes off. Pierce is starring in another, Max’s “Julia,” in which he plays Paul Child, the sensitive husband of cooking eminence Julia Child (portrayed by the great Sarah Lancashire). This show may not have the same reach as the one that made him a household name, but when he was approached to do the reboot of “Frasier” on Paramount+, his plate was so full of meaningful projects that he didn’t want to give any of them up.

“I never really wanted to go back,” he admitted on a recent November morning in the lobby of the She before a matinee performance. “It’s not like I said, ‘Oh, I don’t ever want to do that again.’ I loved every moment. It was that I wanted to do other things. And when we got into real talks about the reboot, I had just started on the ‘Julia’ TV show and was working on a musical and going to do another musical, not this one. And I just thought, ‘I don’t want to be committed to a show and not be able to do stuff like this.’ And I also thought, ‘They don’t actually need me.’ Frasier has moved on to a new world. They have new characters. And I think I’m right. It’s doing great. And the new people they have are great.”

[From LA Times]

Nicely done, David. A tactful response (“They don’t need me! The new people are great!”) with just some hints of shade (“I never really wanted to go back.”) Great job by the writer as well for the dichotomy he set up of “No, David doesn’t want to return to make more money. He wants to do MEANINGFUL projects!!” Again, an excellent joint effort by both interviewer and subject.

For my gorgeous musical theater nerds out there: Here We Are sounds like a trip. Shows are currently running at The Shed in New York. There are no plans as yet for a Broadway transfer, although Broadway heavyweight director Joe Mantello is at the helm (he directs everything, but to name one show: Wicked). In Here We Are, David plays a bishop who’s into ladies’ footwear, in what is described in the article as “a musical diptych” that “stitches together two unrelated yet thematically resonant [Luis] Buñuel films, ‘the Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie’ and ‘The Exterminating Angel.’” This logline is so deliciously absurd and obscure, I’m actually hoping the show does go to Broadway and gives the Disney takeover a run for its money.

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Photos credit Wenn/Avalon, Robin Platzer/Twin Images/Avalon and Getty

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15 Responses to “David Hyde Pierce on not joining the Frasier reboot: ‘they don’t actually need me’”

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  1. JanetDR says:

    He would be the only reason to watch, so no thanks! That play sounds wonderful.

  2. Yup, Me says:

    I really like him on Julia and I appreciate his focus on what he wants to do and create rather than going backwards. When you have other options that better suit you, it’s easy to be gracious in your dismissal.

  3. It Really Is You, Not Me says:

    I didn’t know about the Julia show but I will definitely tune in now. I loved Niles, so maybe he’ll do a cameo or guest arc at some point.

    • Just me says:

      I will have to check out the show as well. Loved Sarah Lancashire in Last Tango in
      Halifax and would love to see these two work together in Julia..

  4. NEENA ZEE says:

    Julia is a delight! And DHP is fantastic in it. As is Bebe Neuwirth. There are a few episodes that showcase their amazing chemistry.

    As for the Frasier reboot… I don’t have time for trump supporters.

  5. Sasha says:

    Oh I would LOVE a Niles cameo. Such a beloved character.

  6. mellie says:

    Niles was the best part of Frasier….well, their dad was pretty good too. But I sure did love Niles!

    • Bumblebee says:

      Oh yeah, the dad was good. And the neurotic girlfriend. So many good characters on that show.

  7. Flower says:

    What a classy response.

    I read his response as ‘I’ve moved on and I wish him well’.

  8. snappyfish says:

    We went to see Hello Dolly with Bette Midler and were so excited to see her we completely overlooked the fact David was in the Cast. It was such a lovely surprise & he was amazing. The whole experience was amazing. I tuned into the Frasier reboot when it came out. I wasn’t impressed but I continued to watch as I really enjoyed the old show. I thought Freddie being a firefighter was lovely & a nod to Martin’s service. However, Niles & Daphne’s boy being so like Niles when I believe he would have been more like Daphne’s brothers, just super smart. Then Kelsey Grammar opened his mouth in support of Trump & I gave up. I can’t in good conscience continue to give band width to a moron who would continue to support a man who has committed a multitude of crimes least of all, espionage.

  9. AnnaKist says:

    Ooooooooo, I hope Julia is available somewhere in Australia! I love David and absolutely adore Sarah Lancashir = both fantastic actors! I am so glad David is doing the roles he loves and I know that Sarah has had some wonderful roles as well. I will watch anything that she’s in.;

    Speaking of Paramount… couple of weeks ago, I posted an ad for a bar that I wanted to sell We bought it in the 80s and it came with a lovely cabinet, as well as a shelf that hung on the wall for wine glasses to be stored. We haven’t used it for many many years and it was stillin really good condition… so five minutes after we posted the ad we got a response. They said they wanted it and were coming around straight away to pick it up.. When they arrived, they asked if we had any other stuff of this era for sale as they were looking for older things for their props department. They work for paramount., Who are currently making another series of ” the crime, King of Sydney”, John Ibrahim. Our oldbar isto be featured in that clubhouse of a notorious motorcycle gang. I could have asked double what I got… 😂😂😂

  10. Kate says:

    CB posted a link yesterday about the Fraiser reboot and I hate clicked on it thinking why tf should anyone support a trump supporter. That was basically the first line of the article followed by a positive review of the show itself. Sooo I watched a few episodes last night wanting to hate it but it is pretty well done and true to the original. Anyway I’m glad for the recommendation for Julia.

  11. lolalola says:

    He’s so good in Julia! I hope that series goes on for years and years or at least until he and Sarah have had enough (please not any time soon!).

  12. BQM says:

    Paul child was a pretty fascinating person himself. I’ll definitely be tuning in for this. I’ll always remember the lovely eulogy he gave for Maureen Reagan. Both had parents lost to Alzheimer’s and had bonded in the cause of finding a cure. Really lovely man.

  13. JaneS says:

    DHP was just terrific as Niles on Frasier.
    He was in Spam-a-lot as Sir Robin, along with Tim Curry.
    I’d love to see that come out on a good quality DVD.
    I’d enjoy watching Julia, but can not afford another streaming app.

    The Frasier reboot is “meh” IMO.
    The original Frasier and cast were so very well done.
    Witty, some slapstick humor, the writing of course, and the cast including Eddie the dog.
    A true classic worth rewatching.

    I have no idea why Kelsey would have agreed to the reboot, other than money, trying to stay relevant. He must know you can not re-create lightening in a bottle.